Posted in Just Funny, Quirks and Other Weirdness

Keep Calm and Be on Time

I like to be on time. Early even. I never hit the snooze alarm. I rarely engage in activities outside the “Getting Ready to Go” framework. I have Time Allotment down to a science. I pride myself on being punctual.

I’d love to pride myself on being a size 8, but punctuality is what I’ve got.

Most of the time.

Occasionally though, Murphy’s Law comes into play. Two weeks ago was one such morning:

7:15 – Pick up buzzing phone. Turn off alarm.  Lament the decision to play Jelly Splash last night until 2 a.m. Check weather app. Blink slowly while checking the temperature and doze back off.

7:16 – Awake seconds later to phone colliding with bridge of nose.

7:17 – Stumble to bathroom. Start water in tub. Make good use of wait time by brushing teeth. Can’t find toothbrush even though it was here last night.

7:20 – Three-minute search reveals toothbrush just below Middle C.  Apparently the toddler used it to clean piano keys last night.

7:21 – Degermify toothbrush in kitchen sink in case she scrubbed more than ivory.

7:22 – Panic and run to turn off bath water just before surface tension hits critical mass and overflows.

7:23 – Drain 4 inches of water. Get into tub.

7:23:15 – Get out of tub, drip water across floor, get washcloth.

7:30 – Wash hair. Lather, rinse, repeat. Reach for conditioner. Also missing. Ugh. Mentally accuse toddler only to discover later the cowboy took my coconut conditioner out to the barn to make the mustang’s manes shiny.

7:35 – Dry off and apply homemade essential oil deodorant. Feel proud I made an aluminum-free deodorant that actually de-odors. Feel stupid I forgot to shave my under pits. (Note to self: No demonstrative praying or cab hailing today.)

7:37 – Pick out clothes. Black pants, aqua top. Attempt to zip pants. Can’t. Lie down on bed, suck in, try zipping again, albeit unsuccessfully.

7:42 – Have a good “I hate my body” cry. While eating a doughnut.

7:45 – Look for abstract maxi skirt to go with aqua top. Instead, find a second pair of black pants and rejoice that the pants I just failed to zip are ones I bought for when I eventually lose the 15 pounds I just gained for the umpteenth time.

7:48 – Apply make-up. Moisturizer. Foundation. Mascara.

7:53 – Sneeze and get mascara schmutz on aqua top.

9faf274d409742d75d1d991f0c0b1d477:57 – Finish make-up. Change dirty top to coral one. Throw aqua one on floor. Think coral is too orangey and looks too Halloweenie with black pants. Change to aqua striped top. Throw coral one on the floor. Stripes make me feel fat today. Who am I kidding? Stripes make me feel fatt-er today. Change to gray top. Throw stripey one on floor. Gray top requires a bra change. Throw first bra on floor. Top off with silver earrings and necklace.

8:06 – Go downstairs and turn on Keurig. Hear rodent. See rodent. Shudder.

8:08 – Bait and set mouse trap.

8:11 – Realize the need to leave in three minutes to make it on time. Detangle unconditioned hair and blow dry.

Hipster-llama-l8:15 – Curse humidity, blow dry some more, contemplate chopping hair off.

8:18 – Blow-dried hair looks like an angry llama today. Tame the brunette beast with a straightener and spray. Heavily.

8:23 – Rush around collecting shoes, purse, glasses, car keys…that are still in the pocket of jeans I wore yesterday under the pile of today’s runway wardrobe malfunctions.  Forego coffee as there is no time now.

8:26 – Rethink jewelry. Can hear Daughter-Face saying, “Matchy-matchy makes you look old, Mom.” Throw silver jewelry on floor and replace with turquoise beads.

8:28 – Start van and squeeze garage door opener. Remote battery dead. Seriously. Sigh in frustration. Jump out and punch opener on the wall before carbon monoxide levels become toxic, back van out of garage, go back and punch button to close door, play Chinese Jump Rope with the invisible motion sensor. Drive.

8:29 – Set cruise at 7 miles over speed limit. Dig through purse for lipstick.

8:30 – Voice text a reminder to self:  Pick up another Bare Minerals Berry Remix Lip Gloss ASAP.  First lipstick I’ve liked in years, so it’s a given they will discontinue it.

MjAxMi00MmI0ZmEyYzAzYjRkNTFk8:36 – Calculate lateness. While doing mental math, space out and miss parkway entrance. Forced now to take longer route through town.

8:38 – Check face in rear-view mirror. Must be a full moon as the lone chin hair has grown in. Dig through purse for tweezers.

8:40 – Attempt to pluck chin hair without looking. Really wish two guys in car next to me had also not been looking.

8:45 – Feeling anxious. Hate being late so so much. 15 minutes over already. Stop at stop sign. Almost there.

8:46 – Wait for stop sign to turn green.

8:47 – Oh. My. Word. Stop SIGNS don’t change color, idiot. Proceed through intersection.

tumblr_inline_nn5tfnePx61qfb043_5008:49 – Pull into parking lot. Ridiculously late. I blame the toddler. And the cowboy. And the mouse. And the humidity. And the sneeze. And the full moon.

And possibly Obama.

Posted in Just Funny, Parenting

delusions of (summer camp) grandeur

It’s June. Time for swimming pools and lightning bugs and baseball and yard work and afternoon thunderstorms…and camp.

Most every summer of my childhood and into young adulthood included at least one week of camp.  Some of the best memories and most important moments of my life took place under a pavilion or in a cabin or on a hike.

Then I grew up.  I had children. I took a break from camp.  A long, long, long-long break.  But after a 20-year hiatus, I decided to go back.  A nine-hour ride in a noisy kid-filled van.  Seven days in a cabin with 8-year-old girls.  The smell of teenage boy sweat permeating everything.  Heat.  Mosquitoes. Snakes. Metal-framed thin-mattress bunk beds. It was pretty great.

sku_272203_1In preparation for my return to camp counseling, Kacey bought me “The Coolest Mother’s Day Gift of All Time!”  A camp survival kit: Red hoodie, red hairdryer, red water bottle, red electric fan, red rain poncho . . . you get the idea.

Now, while the gift itself may not seem like the coolest of all time, the sentiment behind it does. Maybe I should tell the whole story…

Kacey was a wee little thing. Seven to be exact, and she was going to camp for the first time. She was uber-excited. Chattered about it every day.  Friends, swimming, sports, singing.  Summer camp was right up her alley.

Being a super cool mom, I got her all matchy-matchy stuff for camp. new ultimate - hotpink[1]_001I bought pink towels to match her pink sheets and the pink buttons I hand-sewed onto her yellow blanket.  We even bought a pink Rubbermaid container to use in place of a suitcase and puff-painted her name on the top.

We prepped in practical ways as well. I taught her how to do her own ponytail. We worked on it for days and days so she could get it just right and be the cutest little princess at camp. We talked about hanging wet clothes on the line outside. We practiced tying up her sleeping bag. I rolled up her clothes so they wouldn’t wrinkle, and labeled them according to each day. Shorts and tops rolled together with clean undies on the outside (so they could be easily gotten first, as she would be showering each night BEFORE bed, per my instruction, thus keeping her sheets and her pj’s clean all week). Anyway, her clothes were rolled into 6 little rolls, one for each day of the camp week and secured with matching socks and scrunchies to complete her ensembles. She was set for a perfect week of camp cuteness.

Sunday afternoon came, and we drove to camp and got registered.  We met her counselor, got her bed made and her shelf organized with towels and toiletries, and her container tucked under her bed.  At 112 muggy degrees in the shade, I opted not to stay for the entire afternoon. I gave her a hug and told her goodbye.

girls_cabin_900x430_1A look of panic swept over her little face. “You’re not staying with me?????” No, honey, mommy is going home to take care of your baby brother, but I will be back to pick you up on Friday evening. (What we have here is a failure to communicate. I ASSUMED she knew I wasn’t staying. SHE assumed I would be playing Robin to her Batman in the adjoining bunk all week.)  As I got in the car and backed out, I caught my baby girl’s face in the rear view mirror… crying. CRYING???  My baby doesn’t cry. Oh, what kind of mother am I?  But I KNEW in my heart she was going to love camp. I blew her a kiss and drove off into the sunset.

I sent her goofy letters all week. Some written backwards so she would have to read them in the mirror. Some in multiple envelopes with only one word per page. I even sent her ice in a baggie so she could “stay cool”.  But I could not get the image out of my head of those tears streaming down her cheeks as I left her.

It was the longest week ever. Friday evening did not arrive any too soon. I drove back up the gravel road to camp, envisioning Kacey running to meet me (ponytail bobbing, wearing the cute little polka-dot fish outfit that was labeled for Friday), happy she had stayed, but happier to see me. Instead, she was nowhere to be found. I checked the tennis court, the bath house, the dining hall, the back of the milk containers…but she was still missing.  I went on to her cabin and loaded her things into the car.  Alone. Her belongings were just as we had practiced. I was so proud. Clean. Organized. Pink Rubbermaid box tightly closed…

with all her clothes still neatly packed, rolled, and scrunchy-wrapped!

I stuck my head out of the cabin door just in time to catch a glimpse of somebody’s nasty little child wearing… wearing the same outfit my daughter was wearing when I dropped her off 6 days before!!! Only much, much, much, much much dirtier. And this urchin had black fingernails and a grubby face and was wearing a cap she had made herself, matted, greasy hair sticking out from under it.  Her first words were not, “I missed you, Mommy!” or even “YAY, you’re here!”.  They were simply, “Can I stay another week?!”

Needless to say, Kacey loved camp. I knew she would. She continued to love it 12 or 13 more times. I think by the second year she even showered and changed clothes once or twice.

When it was my time to go back, she brought it full circle for me. I had sent her with pink towels and pink sheets and rolled up scrunchies. She sent me with a red hoodie and a red hair dryer and a red water bottle, etc.  And, of course, I bought myself a red suitcase to complete the matchy-matchy ensemble.  After all, the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.